Read here Celtrino’s Managing Director Ken Halpin discussing his views on the PEPPOL pilot project that Celtrino are running with the HSE. This public procurement project is being run in conjunction with the European Commission using the PEPPOL (Pan European Public Procurement Online) initiative which looks to streamline processes in the public sector through e-Invoicing to facilitate greater cross border commerce among EU member states. Minister for State for Public Service Reform Brian Hayes knows that there are huge efficiency savings to be made by adopting e-Invoicing as a standard across the public sector.
2012 saw Celtrino grow and adapt in the e-Commerce world
In 2012 Celtrino increased its market share while positioning itself for future growth that will consolidate its current position as the leading B2B e-Commerce provider in Ireland and allow the company to explore new markets abroad.
For this blog we talked to Managing Director Ken Halpin about Celtrino’s year in 2012 and looked briefly at some prospects for 2013,
“In a very challenging economic climate for our customers, Celtrino successfully strengthened its position in each of the verticals within which it operates. In addition, we increased our levels of investment in people, processes, infrastructure and services across the company to better serve our customers and the needs of the marketplace.”
Tomorrow Minister Brian Hayes will make a keynote address on Ireland’s future approach to e-Procurement and e-Invoicing in Ireland. This follows the recent successful completion of a multi-stakeholder pilot e-Invoicing (PEPPOL) project. The Irish public sector is fast playing catch-up with much of the rest of Europe who have already made binding policy decisions in these areas in advance of EU wide changes that are coming down the track.
The European Commission estimates that the transition to e-Procurement and e-Invoicing within the EU by the start of 2015 will result in public sector savings of €100 billion (that’s a saving of about €1 billion annually for Ireland). In addition, to realising savings in the cost of goods and services purchased, the Irish Government will reduce payroll costs through productivity gains.
Take a look at our recent appearance in the Sunday Business Post.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to drop us a comment, tweet or e-mail and we’ll be sure to get back to you.
A report published this month by Accenture has produced a key finding that more than half (52%) of Irish companies have no clearly defined supply-chain strategy integrated into their businesses. The report further claims that 30% revealed they have no supply chain strategy at all.
I don’t think we needed this report to tell us that one of the biggest supply chain concerns is around environmental and regulatory challenges but it is a timely reminder for Irish companies. As initiatives like PEPPOL and Digital Europe gather pace it is incumbent upon Irish companies to be up to speed on environmental and regulatory requirements otherwise they will not be permitted to tender for new EU wide contracts.
The report threw up some other interesting findings:
- The biggest supply chain cost pressure at present is coming from three areas:
- Fuel costs @ 65%
- Staff costs @ 46%
- Raw material costs @ 41%
- Only 17% of Irish businesses believe that their supply chain is highly sustainable in terms of environmental, energy and regulatory trends
- To minimise supply chain risks some of those interviewed have:
- Established relations with other suppliers @ 69%
- Conducted risk appraisals of key suppliers and parts of the supply chain @ 52%
- Used business process outsourcing to reduce potential risks @ 33%
Armin Samali who is head of Accenture’s supply chain practice in Ireland commented on the results saying, “While there is an appreciation of the role of the supply chain in delivering returns for business, getting companies to align both their business and supply chain strategies remains a significant hurdle to be overcome if organisations are to minimise risk and maximise efficiency.”
Since the announcement of the e-Invoicing & PEPPOL project last week by Minister Brian Hayes, the Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works there has been much online and offline discussion about the nature and origin of the project itself. In my last post on the subject I stated that e-Invoicing isn’t new to Ireland. Indeed, Celtrino has been helping Irish companies do it for more than 20 years. But PEPPOL is new to Ireland and the purpose of this post is to provide a brief overview of PEPPOL.
So, what is PEPPOL?
PEPPOL stands for the Pan-European Public Procurement Online project.
At a high level, PEPPOL is an EU initiated and funded e-Procurement project to enable seamless cross-border e-Procurement, connecting communities through standards-based solutions.
In particular, PEPPOL will enable any company in any EU member state to respond to any tender across the EU. Therefore, any Irish or EU company will be able to tender for government projects in any EU member state.
Government inefficiency, particularly government procurement inefficiency is the focus of PEPPOL. Less than 5% of total procurement budgets are awarded electronically and only 1.6% of contracts are supplied by an entity in another Member State. It is estimated that if e-Procurement is adopted by all European contracting authorities, annual savings could exceed €50B.
How will PEPPOL work?
PEPPOL will remove the technical and procedural barriers to public procurement by enabling European businesses to deal electronically with any public buyers in their procurement processes.
PEPPOL is a document exchange service enabling e-Delivery of business documents between government agencies and private companies.
Is PEPPOL Live?
The PEPPOL project was set-up in 1998 and is currently in test phase in 12 EU member states.
Ireland is an active participant along with Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Greece, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Celtrino is a key member of the Irish PEPPOL project and our public sector project partner is the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Today was a landmark day for Celtrino and for Ireland. I had the privilege of meeting Minister Brian Hayes and other interested parties to formally launch the first Government and public sector e-Invoicing project. The objective of the pilot is to establish a proven interoperable network of trusted service providers capable to accepting, routing and delivering e-Invoices on behalf of selected current suppliers.
e-Invoicing isn’t new to Ireland. Celtrino has been helping Irish companies do it for more than 20 years. Last year alone, we routed more than 7.5 million e-Invoices worth more than €4 billion. What is relatively new is that the entire Irish public sector, being the largest buyer in Ireland, is now ready to revolutionise how Irish companies do business with the State. This initiative will impact on every Irish company selling goods and services to the State.
Irish companies are about to become more competitive and Irish tax payers are going to see more done with less tax. Celtrino estimates that e-Invoicing alone can reduce the costs of doing business in Ireland by €250 million annually.
Besides reducing the transactional cost of doing business for Irish companies (it’s a well-established fact that an e-Invoice is cheaper than its paper equivalent – and greener as well), the process that Irish industry is about to engage with goes far beyond the Accounts Receivable Department and fall beyond our shores.
To substantiate these assertions, I need to share some separate but related information and join up the dots.
Accounts Receivable is a critical function within any company but it’s not an isolated activity. As every business person knows, billing is part of an integrated process that starts with procurement and ends with getting paid promptly for the combination of raw material inputs and unique added value that every successful company brings to the table. So before signing-up with the first service provider that knocks on your door, have a think about the long–term value that it can bring to you across your entire supply chain.
What makes this particularly relevant is that the Minister and his team in the OPW appreciate this. The public sector has been taking costs out of public procurement for several years by using successful sites such as e-tenders as a vehicle for identifying and selecting suppliers. Having agreed the supply contracts (big and small), the next push is to take the paper and manual effort out of the supporting transactions from ordering to delivery and on to invoicing and payment. The good news is that today is e-day!
There’s even better news coming down the track for Irish suppliers as the standards on which these initiatives are based are pan European. All the Governments within the EU have agreed to ensure commonality across the entire EU. They’ve done this under the umbrella of a project called PEPPOL. If you haven’t heard of it yet, don’t worry, it’s been a well-kept secret. PEPPOL stands for Pan European Public Procurement Online. Celtrino got involved back in October 2009 when 3 of us visited a chilly Copenhagen to hear first-hand what was happening internationally. We’ve been preaching the gospel ever since to every public body we could get an audience with.
Irish suppliers that engage with PEPPOL will have a huge export growth opportunity opening up to them – the biggest in the World. The Irish PEPPOL infrastructure will help them leverage their ability to win export business. The engine of growth in Ireland is export led. It is estimated that e-procurement can save the EU €50 billion per year. This translates into fewer taxes for everyone across Europe.
It might take a while but in this case, you can believe the hype! Get e-ready.